Transdisciplinary collaboration with societal actors is a major trend in sustainability research. However, looking at the concrete practice regarding scientific conferences and publications, …  the inclusion of non-scientific actors remains marginal. Going one step further, this paper provides reflections and results from a conference session which was explicitly designed as a transdisciplinary dialogue between research and practice, regarding sustainable food distribution systems. The session took place at the “17th Annual STS Conference – Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies” in Graz in May, 2018. In our paper, we use the multi-level perspective (MLP) on socio-technical transitions as a theoretical staging, while the niche phenomena of “zero waste shops”, “community supported agriculture (CSA)” and “foodcoops” serve as practical examples of alternative food distribution systems. Taking transdisciplinary collaboration and co-authorship seriously the paper was written together with two practitioners of these niche innovations (Jenny Fuhrmann for Zero Waste Stores and David Steinwender for CSA) who contribute their points of view and transformative visions.

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